THE JINN CHRONICLES

            My name is Jason Darkrim, warrior, hero immortal, and story teller. My story is a long one, Millennia long in fact. I have seen the rise and fall of almost every ancient civilization.  I have lived along side prophets and kings, thieves and sorceresses. I will spare you the thick of it. most of it was incredibly boring.

                `the only problem I can foresee is when to start. Shall it be in the beginning of it all, when god created the cosmos, and gave it to his three races of children, the angels, the race of man, and the jinn? Or should I start when I was born in 1985 to my parents Rose and  Allen Darkrim in a small town in the middle of nowhere. Should I tell how my father died when I was seven, and my mother remarried two years later to Mark the butcher? Should I explain how this gave me  two stepsisters, Chris and Barbie? I suppose that all needs to be addressed, but that's one of the many boring part.

                I'd rather start on that amazing, exiting, weird May morning, the most exiting day in what I've come to call my "natural life", for what followed was anything but normal. It began as usual, with Chris waking me up with an ice cube down the back of my pajamas. She enjoyed tormenting me every morning. It had become somewhat of a ritual at my house.

A pin to the butt, her pet cat in my face, Chris delighted in starting off her morning with a fresh argument with me, but today was different, today I was still in shock from the news I had gotten the day before, so I didn't protest to her treatment . she seemed disgustingly disappointed.

Her disappointment however was no where near the magnitude of my excitement. The woman of my dreams, Nattily Brenner, had broken up with her boyfriend only a week before and asked to talk to me before school this very morning. While the chances of her proclaiming her undying love for me was slim, I still couldn't keep the image from my mind.

                I got up and showered. Thinking to myself that Nattilly's ex was never really worth her time. He was just some rich college bozo who thought more of her figure than he ever would have of who she really was. Truth be told I probably wasn't good enough for her either, but I liked to think that my love was based on more than her measurements and skin tone.

                In my eyes Nattily had a beauty that would have made any angel sick with jealous wrath. Even now I would swear to it, though I'm jumping ahead of myself. She wasn't like some of the girls most men seem to go after, the type that that you would have seen on a magazine cover or a TV commercial. Don't get me wrong, she had her share of callers but she wasn't some blonde bimbo or a busty super star wannabe.

Nattily was more… wild. That's what I loved most about her. She had a ferocity in her spirit that made her seem like a velvet coated tiger, but beneath that rested a kinder side to her. Charity, selflessness and kindness was as much a part of her character as her inescapable temper.

                But she was beautiful. She had short red hair that seemed to cup around her neck in a way that made her look petite even though she stood almost six feet tall. A pair of dark sunglasses always were on her head, pushed back over her forehead giving a nice accent to her long bangs and dazzling green eyes.

Her skin was a shade darker than cream. She walked with an airy movement that made her look like she floated on the breeze. She looked like royalty. Cleopatra and Helen of Troy would have ripped her hair out if they could.

                How would I ever be worthy of that? I suppose I wasn't too bad looking. Years on the track team had given my body some volume to it. My muscles weren't bulging but I was pretty strong and plenty fast. I had dominated the hundred yard dash since middle school. Still, I was pretty stringy looking. My long blond hair needed to be cut and I had a terrible time speaking in public.

                By the time I was out of my shower I had already told myself not to get my hopes up over a dozen times, not that it did any good. I'd been Natti's  friend since we were in kindergarten. Nothing had happened yet and nothing would probably ever happen between us, but I couldn't keep myself from hoping.

I was the shoulder she used to cry on when things went wrong. I was the one who was always honest about the songs she wrote. Even if she liked me that way I didn't think she would want to jeopardize that. Somewhere inside I didn't think I wanted to jeopardize that either.

                I resigned myself to disappointment and got out to get dressed, picking out clothes I had already decided on, something that looked like I hadn't been obsessing about the remote chance that she would tell me what I had wanted to hear. When I slipped the shirt over my head I had to think, I was pretty pathetic.                

Downstairs, the morning routine had already started. Mom was making our lunches, scolding Barbie about her choice of cereal, a brand more sugar than anything else. Quietly she scolded herself for caving in and buying it for her, and promised herself that next time she wouldn't be swayed by the cute little seven year old's tears. We all knew she didn't stand a chance against Barbie's sad face. My step dad said as much.

                "No," she insisted "You'll see. Next time we'll get something nice and healthy if it kills me. Jason honey? Aren't you going to eat?"

                And miss Nattily? The thought seemed as preposterous to me as what was about to happen seems now. I shook my head and grabbed my bag. I remember promising "I'll grab something at school." And heading out the door at just under a jog.

            Most of what happened next was a blur. I don't remember much about my walk to school. It was much the same as every day I guess, until I reached the bridge two blocks from the house. The mistake I made there decided my fate, and ended the dry tedious existence of my mortal life. But I'm jumping ahead of myself yet again.             Have you ever wondered why your parents make such a big deal out of looking both ways when you cross the street? Take my word for it, it's a very very good idea. I made the mistake of forgetting that rule as I hurried across the bridge. I sprinted across the four lane street almost four stories over the Melee River that ran though the center of town.              I told you I'm pretty fast remember, but while I darted across the bridge, I heard a screech of rubber and a blaring of a horn. The noise cut through my skull like a razor blade. Few sounds can terrify you like that. Not even a second later I felt a sharp pain in my side. It spread like a wave, an agonizing burst of heat… or was it ice? It happened so quick. I was thrown to the asphalt, the rough pavement ground at my skin like sand paper and I bounced.                      The next sensation I felt was water, all around me. You often forget many of the events on your life, but the sensation of drowning is never one of them if you have the misfortune to experience it.  I felt a suffocating engulfment as if the surging river was crushing me, trying to smash me like a used soda can between pavement and a boot. After what seemed like forever I broke the surface and my lungs filled themselves with air. They were still filling themselves when I went back under.             I can't really sort out what happened next. I suppose I passed out. Suddenly I saw a sword, a silver blade with a hilt resembling a sun, a sky blue gem in it's center. I saw Barbie crying, sobbing at my grave. She clutched to my mother's black dress. I remember thinking that I'd bought her that dress.             Nattily was there, far off in the distance against a huge maple tree we used to climb when we were little. She held the track jersey I'd given her from my first race on the team in her hands. Chris sat in a chair, more dazed than sad. I almost expected to see dad their, an angel waiting for me, but all I could see was Mark. He sat in his car, staring off into nothing. I guess everyone mourns in there own way.             I woke on the bank of the river. The pain was excruciating. I could see only vague blurs of color. Whether that was because of my tears squeezed out by the agony of my muscles or the five or six blows to the head I had suffered I didn't know.             All of a sudden the thought accrued to me that there was no help coming. I knew I was going to die. Even if I lived I might be crippled. Track was definitely no longer an option. For all I knew I might not even have legs any more. The worst part now seems like a testament to the humor inherent in the human creation. The worst part I found, was that I had washed up so that my neck was resting on a pointed rock or something. A long thin spire was pressed up against the base of my skull, right behind my ear.             Compared to everything else it was a mere annoyance but my mind focused on it. I suppose it let me martyr myself. Was it not bad enough that I had been hit by a car? Was it not enough that I had been half drowned and was fated to die on some stinking riverbank? No, I had to spend my last hours of my life laying on that stupid rock! It was the last straw.             The shear irritation of it was so much that I actually dared the pain and reached up with my good arm. It was smooth. I tried to pull it out from under my head. It was lodged in the mud. The effort was so painful that I gave up on it and just laid back. I found myself stroking the object with my thumb out of nothing but boredom.             Just when I had given up to dying in the quiet the ground began the shake. Everything around me froze in place. I almost thought I was dreaming again. My eyes focused with effort and I saw a maple leaf suspended in air, like time had stopped. In fact time had stopped, but still the ground raged as if it were a living thing in mortal pain.             I heard a noise like thunder, then it died into a blood curdling roar. I felt the first surge of fear since the river and then, there was silence. A cold dead silence that seemed to numb my body of all my suffering. All I could think was that I was dead. My wait was over. This was it, any minute I would soar from my mangled body into the sky.             I waited, but Nothing happened. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw a shoulder,  a dark skinned shoulder. It was all I could see it was so gigantic.  I almost died for real when he owner of the monster shoulder turned and looked at me. The first thing that I saw were his horns, never a good thing to see when you figured you've died, or at best are going to die. They were huge spiraling horns purchuding from his temples. The second thing to catch my eye was his blood red aura, like writhing flames.             I sceamed.             I was engulfed in terror, but the giant monster only rolled his eyes and scooped me up off the cold damp ground. He held me up to his face. He looked Arabian, except of course for the scarlet pupils of his brown eyes and the horns. He opened his mouth and I determined the next certainly of the situation. I just knew he was going to gobble me up. What I received instead shocked me to no end. "Master," monster's voice still rings in my ears to this day. the thing bowed his minivan sized head. So that his forehead almost touched mine and addressed me. "wielder of the lamp to which I am bound." "Master?" I repeated weakly, not yet believing, not yet understanding. the monster glared at me impatiently. This is also a very bad thing when you think your about to buy the farm, when your faced with a giant horned monstrosity. Never make it mad. The irritation in it's eyes had yet to fade when it spoke again. "May I be so bold," it's booming voice thundered "as to assume that your first wish would be to prolong your miserable mortal life? To Save you?"

Realization suddenly struck me like a bolt of lightning "Genie" I choked out. He was a genie.  A new wave of certainties washed over me. This beast was a genie, which meant I was not going to die. What good may come of it I didn't know yet, but I knew my life had changed forever. I just didn't know how much.